A new raid, new dailies, and a couple of Brewmaster changes are coming in today’s patch.
Table of Contents
- New or Changed Skills
- Mastery Changes
- Tier 15 Bonuses
- Weak Auras
- Throne of Thunder
- New Factions and Rewards
- To Do List
New or Changed Skills
New! Nimble Brew. Removes all stun, fear, and root effects, and reduces the duration of those effects if they are reapplied by 60% for 6 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown.
This may sound like a PvP ability, but Brewmasters are incredibly susceptible to stuns and this ability deserves a spot on your bars so that you can break out occasionally. Stuns, fears, and roots are surprisingly common in raids.
Path of Blossoms has been removed.
I’m sad to see this ability go, even those I only used it a handful of times for pre-pulling and kiting. I loved dropping little flowers on the ground. Maybe you can put Nimble Brew in its place.
Paralysis is now a physical, non-magical effect, can no longer be dispelled, grounded or reflected, and its base range has been increased to 20 yards. The paralysis effect lasts 40 seconds (was 30 seconds) for non-player targets, 4 seconds when used against other players, and lasts 50% (was 200%) longer when used from behind a target.
The most important change is that Paralysis had a 20 yard range by default, so you can use it from range without needing a talent. The talent that increased range of Paralysis has been removed.
Glyph of Path of Blossoms is now Glyph of Paralysis. This glyph causes the Monk’s Paralysis ability to remove all damage-over-time effects on the target.
My Paralysis always gets broken by DoTs. Though I’m not sure it’s worth a major glyph spot to fix.
Spear Hand Strike, used on a target that’s facing the Monk silences them for 2 seconds (was 4 seconds).
A slight nerf to the silence aspect of this ability, though in PvE it’s mostly used just as an interrupt. Four seconds was really nice for pulling those caster mobs into the group, but two is enough to position them.
Tiger’s Lust no longer has a Chi cost.
Tiger’s Lust is that Level 15 talent that Brewmasters rarely took because we do not often have spare chi just hanging around, and a sprint is only so useful when you have a multitude of movement abilities to begin with. Now that this talent is free, it’s much more competitive with Momentum and Celerity. It can still be cast on others, though usually I like to be selfish.
Dampen Harm can now be used while stunned, and its cooldown will now begin when used, not when the effect ends.
This is not a terribly game-breaking change, but the cooldown starting when the ability is used rather than when the effect ends makes it much more predictable when planing how to time cool downs for a specific fight. Also, you can take advantage of the cooldown by using Dampen Harm a minute or so before you pull, giving you more opportunities to use it (though the odds of getting hit by an attack that consumes it are still pretty low).
Healing Elixirs now heals the Monk for 15% of maximum health (was 10%).
It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Healing Elixirs. It’s not very strong, but is much more versatile than Dampen Harm and Diffuse Magic. I have around 600k health in a raid, which means Healing Elixirs will heal me for around 90k. That’s pretty significant, especially at low vengeance, and with four pieces of tier 15 we will have even more opportunities to trigger it. My general conclusions on Tier 75 talents remain the same: use Dampen Harm for fights that deal significant burst damage, Diffuse Magic for fights that deal predictable magic damage, and Healing Elixirs for everything else.
Chi Torpedo now deals 15% more damage.
Chi Torpedo is another talent that brewmasters rarely take. Unfortunately, a damage buff is still not enough to make this talent competitive for us tanks. Xuen still deals much more single target/cleave damage and Rushing Jade Wind is still better at AoE damage. I have used Chi Torpedo before to help pick up adds or for fights where I don’t need any AoE dps, but a small damage buff isn’t enough to make me use it more often.
Ox Statue: The damage requirement to activate Sanctuary of the Ox has been increased by 100%.
Sadly, this is the one major nerf in this list. We now have to deal twice as much damage to activate our raid utility bubble. Our Ox Statue shields were incredibly effective where there was constant raid damage, and I was getting close to the healers without really trying on fights like that. However, there are many fights where a shield on a random player doesn’t help at all. Overall, this isn’t a nerf to cry about, only to be vaguely sad about.
Windwalker Monk PvP 2-piece bonus now also increases the range of Keg Smash.
I don’t PvP anymore, but it is nice to see that Brewmasters who run flags or whatever can now benefit from PvP bonuses.
Level 60 Talents
These skills have been reevaluated so that Leg Sweep is no longer the only reasonable choice for Brewmasters.
New! Ring of Piece. Forms a sanctuary around the friendly target, causing all nearby enemies within 8 yards to be disarmed and nearby enemy players unable to auto-attack. In addition, enemies who cast a harmful spell within the ring become silenced for 3 sec. Ring of Peace lasts for 8 sec. 45 second cooldown.
This new talent replaces Deadly Reach, the talent that increased the range on our crowd control ability, Paralysis. Note that the description specifies that “nearby enemy players” will be unable to auto-attack, implying that npc enemies will not be effected. This skill will still be useful in PvE as an AoE silence and disarm that lasts 8 seconds. Note that disarm typically only works on non-boss humanoids with visible weapons and silence only effects non-boss casters (usually). It’s a similar effect to Leg Sweep, except it’s a longer duration with a less predictable effect.
Changed! Charging Ox Wave now has a 30-second cooldown (was 60 seconds).
This modification makes Charging Ox Wave competitive. Now it has a shorter duration stun when compared to Leg Sweep, but a shorter cooldown to match. It also continues to be ranged and I look forward to using this ability for kiting. The downside of this ability is that you have to aim it well.
Level 30 Talents
All our healing talents have had their numbers adjusted and chi cost removed.
Chi Wave now does 100% more damage and 14% less healing, and no longer costs Chi, and has a 15-second cooldown.
It’s understandable that the healing was nerved because this skill was absolutely ridiculous at high vengeance. The nice bonuses of Chi Wave continue to be the same: good at healing spread out raid members and the smart heal is decent for healing yourself. Also a nice ranged dps tool. Unless you need to save it up for something, it will be most useful to use this ability on cooldown.
Zen Sphere now has a limit of 2 (was 1), detonates when either the recipient reaches 35% health or the Zen Sphere is dispelled, no longer costs Chi, and has a 10-second cooldown. Its periodic damage has been increased by 22%, periodic healing has been reduced by 61%, its detonation healing has been reduced by 62%, and detonation range has been increased by 40%.
Zen Sphere has a 10 second cooldown with a 16 second duration, so you can keep it up on yourself at all times if you want. Note that you can no longer detonate Zen Sphere on command: it will only detonate when certain conditions are met. The heal is pretty small, but constant should you need a HoT, and the detonation is alright AoE healing on a short cooldown.
Chi Burst now does 69% more healing, no longer costs Chi, and has a 30-second cooldown.
Chi Burst is now a mini-raid healing cooldown that excels when the raid is stacked. If you can position yourself so that the raid is between you and your target, it will be a good chunk of healing. Unfortunately, that can be difficult for a tank to accomplish. It will be useful for us in the right circumstances, but not as versatile as Chi Wave or Zen Sphere. The 30 second cooldown limits its uses as a ranged tool.
I am working on a set of Weak Auras for the new healing skills, since they will become a much more integral part of our tanking rotation. If you’re having trouble deciding, go with Chi Wave. My analysis could likely change once I get a chance to use this in a real raiding environment, but for now that skill looks the best for tanks.
Mastery: Elusive Brawler now provides 25% more Stagger per Mastery rating.
This is a slight buff to our mastery, but not significant enough to change your gearing. If you need a refresher: all our secondary stats are good, but each excels in a different environment. Haste is a good all-around stat that gives you more chances to use your Chi-consuming active mitigation. Crit is good against physical damage and reducing total damage taken. Mastery is good against physical burst and smoothing. You can read more about it here. If you’re not sure which priority to follow start with this: Hit/expertise to cap > Haste > Crit > Mastery.
Tier 15 Bonuses
Our tier 14 bonuses are pretty good, but worth dropping for tier 15, once we get it. Tier 15 bonuses emphasize Stagger, so hopefully you’re pretty good at using Purifying Brew by now.
After Elusive Brew expires, the amount of damage you Stagger is increased by 12%. This effect lasts 1 sec per stack of Elusive Brew consumed.
If you use Elusive Brew at 3 stacks, you will have increased dodge for 3 seconds and then increased Stagger for 3 seconds. The buff itself is called “Staggering“. You can no longer use Elusive Brew while the dodge buff is active, which has the added benefit of never having to worry about overwriting a Staggering buff. If you cancel Elusive Brew early, then Staggering will appear immediately after it is canceled. And in case you were wondering, you can have both Elusive Brew and Staggering active.
Generally, this bonus shouldn’t change the way you Elusive Brew. Just keep popping it when you want to smooth your damage intake or avoidable special attacks are coming up. A dodged attack is still more avoided damage than a staggered attack, so don’t worry about “wasting” the Staggering buff by having Elusive Brew up at the same time.
Now, it is possible that there will be abilities that are not avoidable but are staggerable (like Blade Lord’s Overwhelming Assault). In these cases we might want to time Elusive Brew so that it ends right before this theoretical special ability or to cancel it prematurely so that the Staggering buff can help us survive. Time will tell if this is a helpful tactic.
The awesome benefit of this bonus is the health smoothing it provides. One of the downsides (if we can even call it that) of high avoidance is that when you do get hit, you get hit pretty hard and your healers might be taken by surprise. This bonus smoothes that damage we don’t avoid by pushing more of it into the stagger debuff, thus making us easier to heal and less likely to die from burst.
Each time you take damage from Stagger, you have a 10% chance to make your next Purifying Brew cost no Chi.
This buff is called “Purifier“, and it’s pretty straight-forward. The free Purifying Brew will be available for 15 seconds. If the proc appears, you have the choice of using it immediately or saving it for a dangerous near-future event. In most cases, you should use it sooner rather than later because it does not stack and you don’t want to waste procs.
Soon I will make some Weak Auras to track Staggering and Purifier buffs.
As mentioned a few times already, I’ll soon have an updated set of Weak Auras for our healing talents and our tier 15 bonuses. I’ve tested my current auras on the PTR and they function correctly, so you shouldn’t need to update. However, if you do find an error please let me know. Lots of brewmasters depend on my stagger aura and I can’t let them down!
Throne of Thunder
Upon logging into 5.2, you will get a quest that leads you to the new quest zone and raid. (I didn’t know this, and after spending some time searching the internet for how to get to the Isle of Thunder, I noticed I had a new quest in my log that showed the way. So maybe telling you will save time.)
If you want a quick walkthrough of the new bosses, check out Tank Raiding’s boss Tips and Tricks. I haven’t done any fights yet, but I’ll post a Quick and Dirty guide once I get the chance.
New Factions and Rewards
There are two new factions in 5.2: Kirin Tor Offensive (Alliance) / Sunreaver Onslaught (Horde) and Shado-Pan Assault.
If you are a raider, you’ll want to focus on Shado-Pan Assault and spend your valor there. Shado-Pan Assault reputation is gained only in the Throne of Thunder. They offer ilevel 522 gear in every slot, starting with a neck at neutral (which isn’t a bad place to start if you have 1250 VP). Here are the items from Shado-Pan Assault that look good for Brewmasters:
- Neutral – Neck – Flanker’s Battletags
- Friendly – Ring – Seal of the Shado-Pan Assault
- Friendly – Tank Trinket – Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault
- Friendly – Agi Trinket – Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault
- Friendly – Wrist – Willow-Weave Armbands
- Honored – Hands – Daggerfinger Clutches
- Honored – Legs – Legguards of Hidden Knives
- Honored – Back – Longshot Forestcloak
- Revered – Waist – Darkfang Belt
- Revered – Chest – Roofstalker Shadowwrap
- Exalted – Shoulder – Wallwalker Spaulders
If you cannot or do not raid much, the Sunreaver Onslaught or Kirin Tor Offensive will unlock through daily quests and offer 476-496 loot. This gear is better than Tier 14 LFR, but not by much, and Tier 15 LFR beats it.
- Honored – Waist – Skumblade-Tooth Girdle / Skumblade-Tooth Girdle
- Revered – Back – Thunder-Chaser Cloak / Thunder-Chaser Cloak
- Exalted – Ring – Refurbished Band of Jin / Refurbished Band of Jin
- Exalted – Dinosaur – Reins of the Golden Primal Direhorn / Reins of the Crimson Primal Direhorn
The New Raid and Loot
Here are my preliminary gear rankings. As usual, I’m lazy and use wowhead to rank most things for me.
Weapons and trinkets need to be evaluated manually. Generally, sha touched weapons are very good for us tanks and it might take a while to find a decent upgrade. If you care more about dps, than you can upgrade sooner. On the bright side, this tier has no shortage of agility weapons: 2 fists, 1 axe, 2 maces, 1 polearm, 2 staves.
I haven’t put much thought into ranking the new trinkets, but be sure to check my Brewmaster Gear List in a few weeks. For now, here’s a preliminary list:
- Talisman of Bloodlust — This looks like it will be our best general use trinket.
- Rune of Re-Origination — If this was an on-use trinket I’d be much more excited. As it is now, for a standard geared brewmaster it will raise your haste and lower your crit and mastery.
- Renataki’s Soul Charm — This trinket has good stats, but with expertise as the static stat, you will depend on it for your expertise cap. I like to be flexible with my trinkets.
- Bad Juju — Mastery remains situational, but the proc is good and you can always reforge to a stat you like better. (I just like the voodoo gnomes.)
- Soul Barrier — I like this trinket because both the static stat and the on-use effect increase your resistance to burst. Stamina is always good for fights that require a bigger health pool and even though 11,206 absorption doesn’t sound like much, it contributes quite a bit to smoothing out bursty damage.
- Fortitude of the Zandalari — Another burst reduction trinket. The temporary health increase is pretty standard. Not exciting, fairly useful.
- Ji-Kun’s Rising Winds — I like the automatic heal, though this is another trinket with expertise, and that makes it difficult to swap out trinkets.
- Delicate Vial of the Sanguinaire — With Elusive Brew, we can have a very high dodge rate, and I imagine this trinket scales well on multi-target encounters (where you are getting many chances to dodge), but the 4% chance to proc means you’ll see it two or three times a fight (at least according to my logs).
- Vicious Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault — Another stat with a cap, which means if you use this trinket you can’t swap it out. Besides that, it’s a strong, if boring, trinket.
- Steadfast Talisman of the Shado-Pan Assault — Mastery again, and this time paired with dodge, which is a conflict of interest. It’s a good choice if you get to that reputation level, have the VP, and don’t have anything better yet.
To Do List
- Update addons.
- Put new Nimble Brew on your bars.
- Reevaluate level 30 talents: do you want the HoT from Zen Sphere, the ranged heal and attack from Chi Wave, or the mini-raid heal cooldown from Chi Burst?
- Reevaluate level 60 talents: if the adds can be disarmed or silenced, Ring of Piece; if you need a AoE stun on a short cooldown, Charging Ox Wave; if you need a long AoE stun, Leg Sweep.
- Do new dailies, at least to unlock the new factions and find the Thunder Isle.
- Buy valor neck from Shado Pan Assault (if you have enough valor and you want it).
- Buy a new gem socket from Wrathion if you spent yours on a weapon you’ve already replaced. Start new legendary quest line. The tank meta is totally awesome!